Former top Yugoslav figure granted temporary leave by UN war crimes tribunal
The United Nations tribunal set up to deal with the worst crimes committed during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s has granted temporary release to a former senior Yugoslav political figure facing trial over an alleged campaign of terror and violence against Kosovo Albanians and other non-Serbs in 1999.
Nikola Šainović, a former deputy prime minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, has been allowed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which is based in The Hague, to return to Serbia for personal reasons from tomorrow until Monday.
Announcing the decision today, the ICTY trial chamber said Mr. Šainović’s temporary release was subject to several strict conditions, including 24-hour surveillance of the accused by Serbian authorities.
Mr. Šainović, 59, is on trial with five others – Milan Milutinović, Nebojša Pavković, Dragoljub Ojdanić, Vladimir Lazarević and Sreten Lukić – over an alleged campaign of terror and violence directed against Kosovo Albanians and other non-Serbs living in Kosovo in 1999. All six men face charges of murder, deportation, forcible transfer and the persecution of thousands of Kosovo Albanians and other non-Serbs.
The trial of the six men began in July 2006, with the prosecution completing its case in May last year and five of the six defence cases have now been completed, with Mr. Lukić’s defence still ongoing.